Amazon Greenlights Diego Maradona Soccer Drama

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Diego Maradona

The legendary, but highly controversial, Argentine soccer star is considered by many to be the best player in history.

Amazon Prime Video has given the green light to a new drama series based on the life of legendary Argentine soccer star Diego Armando Maradona.

The series will follow Maradona's rise from a childhood of abject poverty to the highest levels of professional and international soccer. It will include his international success in Europe, where he played for Barcelona (transferring in 1983 for a then-record fee of $7.6 million), and Italy, where he became a legend as the star of Napoli's soccer club, taking the side to their first-ever national title in 1987 (and repeating the feat in 1990).

The series will also look at Maradona's role in leading Argentina to victory at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. In a match against England, Maradona scored the infamous “Hand of God” goal, illegally punching in a goal in a move that was not caught by the referee. In that same match, he single handedly dribbled through the entire England squad, scoring a goal often judged to be the greatest ever.

“There are few players whose notoriety transcends generations and geographic borders — Maradona is a household name around the world, and his career highlights are still discussed today among the biggest moments in soccer’s history,” said Brad Beale, vp, worldwide TV content acquisition at Prime Video.

Mexican production company BTF Media, makers of the hit Mexican teen drama Soy Luna for the Disney Channel, will produce the Maradona series in association with Dhana Media and Raze. Francisco Cordero, co-founder and CEO, BTF Media, said the series would offer a picture of Maradona “not only as a champion but also as a man.”

Aside from his on-pitch antics, Maradona's private life has been a constant source of controversy, including several bouts of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as tax evasion. Maradona failed a doping test during the 1994 World Cup in the U.S., ending his career as a player.

Maradona has been the subject of several films, including Italian biopic Maradona the Hand of God and Emir Kusturica's documentary Maradona by Kusturica. He also was portrayed as a character in Paolo Sorrentino's Youth, starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel.

Asif Kapadia, the Oscar-winning director of Amy, is currently in production on a Maradona documentary that will focus on the star's mid-1980s career in Napoli. In 2016, Maradona struck a deal with Argentine broadcaster Telefe, now owned by Viacom, for a biopic that was unveiled by Telefe content and international business director Tomas Yankelevich.